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Tampa Bay Storm defense restores coach's faith in man

TAMPA — Sometimes you just have to man up a little more.

That's exactly what Tampa Bay (4-3) did last week, utilizing more man-to-man coverage as the visiting Storm beat rival Orlando 62-50 in the latest version of the "War on I-4."

"I wasn't sure how much man we could play against (Orlando)," coach Tim Marcum said. "They have two very, very good receivers in T.T. Toliver and Bobby Sippio."

Compound that with the loss of starting DB Deonte Bolden against Bossier-Shreveport and Marcum had reason for concern. Daryon Brutley, however, not only filled in for Bolden, he earned defensive player of the week in helping lock down the Predators' wideouts.

"We are a man-to-man team," Marcum said. "But I thought we'd have to play more zone against (Orlando). As the game went on, I just got more confident in our man."

Brutley finished with a game-high 121/2 tackles, two passes defended and an interception.

Signings: The Storm added depth to its defensive backfield with the signing of Erick McIntosh late last week. McIntosh had only two practices last week and was inactive against Orlando, but Marcum expects him to make an impact against Oklahoma City.

"He's something special," Marcum said. "You'll see that Saturday."

To make room, Tampa Bay released WR/DB Jason Geathers.

Big Returns: The Storm will have its hands full with Oklahoma City's Timon Marshall, the AFL's top returner. Marshall leads the league with 755 return yards and is tied for first with three touchdowns.

"They have a very special special teams," Marcum said. "We need to keep those rascals from breaking one."

Game change: The Storm's June 12 game at Alabama was moved to June 11 at 8 p.m. and will be featured as the NFL Network's AFL Game of the Week.

The X Man returns: Florida State fans may have a flashback Saturday at the sight of Oklahoma City's Xavier Lee on the field with Storm backup QB Drew Weatherford.

Lee, a backup quarterback and wide receiver with the Yard Dawgz, and Weatherford battled for snaps with the Seminoles from 2005-07.

In limited action this season, Lee filled in for ineffective starter Tommy Grady against Tulsa and went 8-of-15 for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Lee also has caught 21 passes for 211 yards and one score.

up next

Storm vs. Oklahoma City

When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa

Radio: 1250-AM

Tickets: (813) 301-6600 or

Tampa Bay Storm defense restores coach's faith in man 06/02/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 9:29pm]
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